September 21, 2017

Purdue computer science club to host hacker b00tc4mp

b01ler club b01ler club meeting. (Photo via Bader AlBassam) Download image

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Purdue University’s capture the flag team, b01lers, will host a two-day boot camp for students interested in cybersecurity. The event will take place Saturday (Sept. 23) and Sunday (Sept. 24) in the Lawson Computer Science Building.

This “hacker b00tc4mp” will be the first of its kind at Purdue. The event will focus on understanding binaries and programs, reverse engineering of program code, forensic analysis of data formats, understanding cryptographic protocols, and reasoning about web applications. These categories represent the major areas of cybersecurity and provide a foundation for developing real-world skills. 

“Our goal was to provide interesting content for people with almost no knowledge other than basic programming, all the way up to high levels of security experience with something fun to learn,” said Bader AlBassam, president of b01lers. “While designing the material for the boot camp we focused on having challenges at all difficulty levels. There will be something for everyone.”

On the first day, classroom sessions will feature both presentations and labs. The instructors will present background material and then guide students through sample challenges, allowing them to gain a deeper understanding of the concepts. Several advanced and hidden exercises will be available for more experienced students. Active participation will prepare students to compete in a capture the flag competition the next day.

Capture the flag competitions give students the opportunity to practice security skills and tackle realistic challenges outside the classroom. In these competitions, students try to solve security challenges and “riddles” from different categories to earn points, competing against other students. The popularity of these events is increasing as interest in cybersecurity and ethical hacking becomes more mainstream.

 “The demand for security professionals is incredibly high, and companies are interested in hiring people who actively participate in capture the flag teams,” said AlBassam. “The skills acquired from participating in these teams are not attainable from regular classrooms as they heavily involve hands-on knowledge. Coming to the boot camp will be a good way for people interested in playing capture the flag to get started with the relevant knowledge they need.”

Purdue computer science corporate partner Northrop Grumman is sponsoring the event, and several of their engineers, including b01lers alumni, will participate as instructors.

Click here to register for the b00tc4mp. Students from all majors are welcome to participate. 

Writer: Kayla Zacharias, 765-494-9318, 

Sources: Bader AlBassam,

Nathan Burow,

Mathias Payer, 

Related Web site:

b01lers Home Page

Research News

More Research News

Purdue University, 610 Purdue Mall, West Lafayette, IN 47907, (765) 494-4600

© 2015-17 Purdue University | An equal access/equal opportunity university | Copyright Complaints | Maintained by Office of Strategic Communications

Trouble with this page? Disability-related accessibility issue? Please contact News Service at